SEATTLE—Mitch Hanniger refuses to let the Seattle Mariners run down the prospect of a run with Thad at the end of a post-season feud.
In doing so, he ensured that the Mariners would play meaningful baseball on the final day of the regular season.
“The Hanniger game, ‘I think we can call this one,'” said Seattle manager Scott Servais.
Hanniger scored five and his two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning gave Seattle the lead as the Mariners extended their playoff hopes to the final day with a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
With Seattle’s season on the line, Hanniger had an RBI single in the third inning, clubbed his 39th homer in the fifth and came off with loaded bases in the eighth when Seattle took a 3–1 lead.
“It was fun to top the team by two. It was cool,” Hanniger said. “Trying to win every single game, win every single pitch. Every pitch is so worthwhile, so every run we can get across the plate is huge, especially in these last couple games, this last series is a lot on the line. It was a good feeling.”
Seattle would not be able to claim one of the two AL wild-card spots on the final day of the regular season, but it did make game number 162, which is not called often during Seattle’s 20-year drought.
The Mariners and Toronto enter the final day tied at 90–71, trailing both Boston and the New York Yankees by one game for two wild cards. Seattle could find itself in one of several Monday tiebreaker scenarios if it beat the Angels on Sunday and lost Boston or New York.
This is the first 90-win season for the Mariners since 2003.
“You always want to play for something bigger than you,” said Seattle’s Kyle Seeger. “You always want to be part of something bigger than your personal agenda, or goals, or stats or anything like that. You want to play something big and we get tomorrow’s chance.
Seattle almost didn’t arrive until the last day.
Steve Sischek (0-2) didn’t get the plate in the eighth. The right-hander hits Jared Kelenick and runs with Jake Bauers to open the innings. Jake Fraley’s sacrificial bunt pushed the runners forward, and JP Crawford deliberately went.
Kelenick was forced home on Ty France’s chopper in third place, but Hanniger scored with a line drive on the 3–2 pitch to Bauers and Crawford. The normally even-tempered Hanniger pumped his arms round first base, and the more than 44,000 people in attendance rocked T-Mobile Park.
Cesar dropped a single in center field to score France and give Seattle some cushion.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said, “No one feels worse than (Seshake).” “He’s an iron man. He’s steady and he’s pitching really well.”
Drew Steckenraider finished ninth to defend his 14th.
Jared Walsh hit a three-run homer in the eighth innings off reliever Paul Sewald to give the Angels a 4-3 lead. Seewald (10-3) had a stellar run for Seattle throughout the season, but opened the innings by running 3-2 pitches to Brandon Marsh and Shohei Ohtani.
After the strikeout, Sewald dropped his first pitch fastball down the middle of the plate, and Walsh deposited it into deep right-center field for his 28th homer and silenced the crowd. It was the 10th homer allowed by Sewald this season.
“When you think about how this season started, playing Game 162 and being on the line says a lot about the steps we take as a team,” Servais said.
Seattle starter Chris Flexon was solid in the sixth inning before Mariners standout bullpen took over. Flexon allowed one run and six hits to break out of the jam in the second and fifth innings, leaving the runners in third.
Jonathan Diaz could not go in the fifth inning for the Angels. He made his debut with six hits and three runs.
Seattle scrambled to add an arm to their bullpen before the game, reinstating Andres Munoz from the 60-day injured list and placing RHP Joe Smith on the injured list. Munoz has not worked in majors since September 2019 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was pitching in the minors for Triple-A Tacoma.
Smith was not given an injury designation.
Seattle also recalled Donovan Walton’s IF/OF on Saturday for added flexibility on the bench. RHP Wyatt Mills was selected to Tacoma.
Angels: LHP Reid Daters (1-3, 7.11) makes his first debut since Aug. 21. Detmers spent a month on the injured list.
Mariners: LHP Tyler Anderson (7-10, 4.41) makes his third start in eight days. Anderson took some rest on Tuesday night against Oakland after being trampled by the Angels last weekend, where he conceded nine runs in two innings.
by Tim Booth
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times